For the second time, the fifth labor judge of Bogotá once again stated that his decision to suspend the use of tear gas during demonstrations is upheld and, according to him, there is no going back. That ruling was annulled by the Superior Court of Bogotá, arguing that the opinion and investigations of other ministries, such as Ministry of Health and Ministry of Interior, had not been taken into account.
On this occasion, the judge gave more arguments as to why, with the use of tear gas, the covid-19 virus would spread more easily.
The ruling, according to the radio station Blu Radio, was sustained under the investigations of the toxicology department of the Faculty of Medicine of the National University, in which it is stated that The use of tear gas, such as those used by the mobile anti-riot squad (Esmad), could be harmful in the context that the world is experiencing in the face of covid-19.
On the one hand, because the effect of these gases on the human body, lowers the defenses of the lungs, and on the other, because, in the event that the protesters suffered asymptomatic covid-19, after breathing this substance , they would spread the virus due to cough affectations generated by the smoke.
In this sense, according to the judge, this would lead to the protesters being the citizens who could be most exposed to COVID.19 if the use of tear gas were to be maintained. It was for this reason that the judge considered these gases as “chemical weapons”.
“Well, the dispatch considers that the so-called” non-lethal or less lethal weapon “commonly known as tear gas corresponds, in essence, to a real chemical weapon, that is, to a toxic chemical substance used as a riot control agent” , the judge commented to Blu Radio.
He also added that the National Government should consider the prohibition of tear gas not only during the pandemic but after it:
“Third: Exhort the President of the Republic and the Nation – Ministry of National Defense – National Police so that, within the framework of the regulations ordered in judgment STC7641-2020, the need to maintain the use of chemical agents or agents is seriously discussed and analyzed. determine its absolute prohibition “, says the ruling.
The Government’s response:
For their part, the Presidency showed little conviction with the judge’s arguments and through the Ministry of Defense, they affirmed that the use of tear gas is supported under the precepts and norms of International Humanitarian Law, the Political Constitution, the Police Code and finally, by internal regulations of the National Police.
In addition, the Ministry of Defense affirmed that “in the disturbances there are attacks against members of the National Police, which generates a serious and imminent risk against their life and integrity, causing them to be injured even with burns or death itself.”
For its part, the District spoke through the Legal Secretariat regarding the suspension of tear gas, expressing that it does not consider it viable through a tutelage.
He also added that: “It is the National Police of Colombia, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of the Interior who, by competence, must pronounce on the merits in relation to the suspension of the use of chemical weapons by the Mobile Anti-Riot Squad, whenever they obey to policies and directives of the aforementioned central-level entities and, which are regulated by decrees, resolutions, among others, policies outside the capital District, ”they said to Blu Radio.
Colombia says goodbye to November with fewer cases, 8,430 new infections by COVID-19, and fewer tests
Bogotá, the first Latin American city in the presidency of the metropolis network